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Browns Bridge is the latest Lake Lanier crossing to be completed. Here’s when it may open
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Motorists on Browns Bridge Road will notice a traffic shift on Friday to the new Browns Bridge on State Route 369. Crews will be completing the pavement markings Friday morning along with other signage installations that will allow them to move traffic to the new bridge. - photo by Scott Rogers

Update, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18:

Georgia DOT district spokeswoman Katie Strickland said the bridge opened around 5:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18.

Original story:

The new Browns Bridge at the Hall-Forsyth County line is scheduled to open to traffic Friday, Dec. 18.

“Crews will begin at 9 a.m. that morning completing the pavement markings and other signage installations that will allow them to move traffic to the new bridge,” according to a Georgia Department of Transportation press release.

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The 1,435-foot, two-lane bridge on Browns Bridge Road/Ga. 369 spans the Chattahoochee River, which flows into Lake Lanier. The bridge has two 12-foot lanes with 8-foot shoulders.

Construction began on the $28 million project in January 2018. The project has an overall April 2021 completion date, so “drivers will continue to see work ongoing as they use the new bridge,” the DOT says.

One major task that lies ahead is demolition of the old bridge. That work will start after Christmas, but there is “no set schedule at this point,” DOT district spokeswoman Katie Strickland said Tuesday, Dec. 15.

The structure is part of a string of Lake Lanier bridges dating to the lake’s creation in the 1950s being replaced.

“We recognized that replacing them with state-of-the-art structures is vitally important for the ongoing connectivity of the communities and counties in the region,” said Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry in November 2019.

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Motorists on Browns Bridge Road will notice a traffic shift on Friday to the new Browns Bridge on State Route 369. - photo by Scott Rogers